Expected pitch to deteriorate on final day but it sort of flattened out: Williamson
London, UK: While losing day three might have dented New Zealand's chances of winning the first Test, skipper Kane Williamson feels the Kiwis put in their efforts to go for a victory against England on Sunday. Rain had played spoilsport on day three and not a single ball was bowled before play was abandoned due to rain. And England skipper Joe Root and Dominic Sibley helped hosts walk away with a draw in the first Test after New Zealand declared their innings at 169/6. "As we know in Test cricket you have your ebbs and flows but coming into day [five] and having a bit of work to do in that morning session to give ourselves a chance, I thought the guys played some superb cricket throughout to give us that potential opportunity," ESPNcricinfo quoted Williamson as saying. "Unfortunately it wasn't to be today, losing a day to weather doesn't help the cause but I thought the efforts were certainly there," he added. New Zealand scored some quick-fire runs on the fifth day to put up a decent total for England. Williamson said the Kiwis expected the wicket to deteriorate but the pitch sort of flattened out on the final day of the opening Test.
"We made the decision based on what gave us potentially the best chance to win the game, or enough overs [to take the wickets]. We knew losing a day was going to be tough but we wanted to give it a crack," said Williamson. "Unfortunately towards the end things fizzled out a bit, we were expecting the pitch to deteriorate a bit more and it did show signs on day four in particular that that was going to happen, but it sort of flattened out," he added. Williamson made it clear that New Zealand was looking for a win however "things became quite docile" in the final two sessions of the first Test. "We declared for a reason and that was to try and push for a victory. Although it seemed unlikely for a period, if one spun out of the rough or you were able to open up an end, then things could happen reasonably quickly," said Williamson. "We were holding on to that hope for as long as we could. But clearly things became quite docile out there," he added. England and New Zealand will next lock horns in the second Test from Thursday.